How to Create a Bootable USB Flash Drive to Install Windows 7


  • An ISO of the Windows 7 installation DVD or a Windows 7 disc.
  • A USB Flash Drive that has a capacity of 4GB or larger.
    • This USB flash drive will be totally erased and formatted with NTFS!
    • All data on this USB flash drive will be lost!

How to Make a Bootable USB Flash Drive Without Using the bootsect Command:

  • You’ll need to use the DiskPart utility on the system you will use to prep the USB flash drive.
  • Insert the target USB Flash Drive into the computer
  • Start the DiskPart utility by typing diskpart at a command prompt, and issue the following commands:
Command Description
list disk Use to identify the drive number of the USB flash drive.
select disk 1 Where the “1” is the corresponding number of your USB flash drive.
clean Erase everything from the USB flash drive
create partition primary
select partition 1
active Make the partition active/bootable
format fs=ntfs quick Set up the file system as NTFS
assign Gives the USB flash drive a drive letter, so that you can access it from Windows Explorer. The next available drive letter will be assigned.
Exit Exit from DiskPart
  • Copy everything from the Windows 7 installation DVD or ISO onto the USB flash drive.
  • You now have a bootable USB flash drive that you can use to install Windows 7.

Using the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool to Create a Bootable Windows 7 USB Flash Drive


  • If you’re trying to create a 64-bit USB bootable device using a 32-bit version of Windows, then the last step of the “Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool,” running bootsect, to make the USB flash drive bootable will fail.
  • You’ll have to download the 32-bit version of bootsect.exe from your account in the Microsoft Store.
  • Or, insert the USB flash drive into a 64-bit Windows 7 PC and issue the following command from the command prompt. (Replace f:with the drive lettter of the USB flash drive):

    bootsect /nt60 f: /mbr